Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Before reading, let’s be clear, this is not about whether DACA is good or bad, if it was good or bad to discontinue it, or if it was legal or illegal. What it is about is facts and truth. Before you can be for or against something, you have to understand it first. So let’s be sure you understand it before you speak for or against it. Sound good? So let’s reason it out.

To understand DACA, we have to go back quite a ways, clear back to 2001 to good ole’ H.R. 1582. HR1582 was introduced to amend an even older document from 1996, H.R. 2202. In HR2202 there were provisions which stated:

(Sec. 507) Makes illegal aliens ineligible for in-state tuition rates at institutions of higher education.

(Sec. 625) Prohibits foreign student status for an alien in a public elementary school or a publicly funded adult education program. Prohibits such status at a public secondary school unless the period in question does not exceed 12 months and the alien has reimbursed the appropriate school agency. Prohibits transfer from a private educational program to such public programs unless the required provisions are met.

HR1582 was introduced to repeal the provision prohibiting an unlawful alien’s eligibility for higher education benefits.

Just a note, this is where media comes in today – you see, media today refers to those being discusses as “undocumented immigrants.” That is like calling all the people running from the law (criminals) who are for sure guilty, “undocumented suspects”. The people being discussed are actually Illegal Aliens. I realize they are people, I realize some are very good people. This is what makes this whole thing not so cut and dry, but let us be clear, these are people who are in America illegally, period. Okay, back to the facts.

HR1582 stated purpose was:

(b) Purposes.–The purposes of this Act are–
(1) to provide an opportunity to certain alien children who
were brought to the United States at a young age and have since been acculturated in the United States to adjust their status to lawful permanent residency and become contributing members of United States society;
(2) to restore to each State the flexibility to provide in-
State tuition to all children residing in the State, including
to undocumented alien children; and
(3) to permit and encourage alien children who were brought to the United States at a young age and have been educated in United States elementary and secondary schools to continue their education through high school graduation and into college.

This Bill ended up being referred to the Subcommittee on Education Reform and was scrapped for H.R. 1918. HR1918 was to cancel the removal and adjust the status of certain alien college-bound  students who are long-term U.S. residents and ended up being referred to the Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness. This gave way to S. 1291.

You know what S1291 was right? If not, then why are you using the word Dreamer for? You see, this is where the phrase DREAMer was birthed from. S1291 had the purpose

to determine State residency for higher education purposes and to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien college-bound students who are long-term United States residents.

Now we are in to 2002 and S1291 was placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders.

Fast forward through various attempts to 2010 and S. 3827. Which made it through the House (H. R. 3992), but not the Senate. The Senate ended with a cloture motion on the motion to proceed to the bill rendered moot in Senate.

It surfaced again in 2011, the concern with passing it at that time was the need to increase immigration enforcement. California enacted a DREAM Act of their own.

LET’S REASON: Picture this act being passed without good immigration enforcement. You know if you can get your kid to the US before they are 16, they can basically be given amnesty, what would you do? They can’t come in the legal way, because then they are no longer illegal aliens. Think this one through for a bit.

And here we are, 2012, and DACA emerges. I researched the whitehouse.gov site and did not find any formal written action by President Obama.

presidential actions 2012

But I did find the memorandum from Homeland Security dated 6/15/2012. I suggest if you plan to discuss DACA, you should really read this document. Take note of a few things:

  • “has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum”
  • “No individual should receive deferred action under this memorandum unless they first pass a background check”
  • ” … requests for relief pursuant to this memorandum are to be decided on a case by case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that relief will be granted in all cases. “
  • “This memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights. It remains for the executive branch, however, to set forth policy for the exercise of discretion within the framework of the existing law. “

In November, 2014, President Obama expanded the program to those living in the US since January 1, 2010.

You can follow DACA’s journey from the Immigration site. In February, 2015, the federal court issued a temporary injunction which suspended accepting new requests.

In Jun, 2016, the Supreme Court’s actions prohibited implementation of DAPA (yeah, that’s another one for another day look it up). But DACA was expanded to those living in US since June 15, 2012.

In June, 2017, Homeland Security issued a memorandum provided that “[t]he June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum, however, will remain in effect,” and some “Expanded DACA” permits will also remain in effect.

So let’s recap for a moment, read the current guidelines, DACA ONLY applied to anyone who was here ON or BEFORE June 15, 2012 and had no lawful status. That means, anyone this applies to has been living in the US for at least 5 years, and are currently 21-36 years old. We are not talking about children here, these are adults.

On June 29, 2017, the Texas Attorney General sent a letter to Jeff Session. Take note of this statement in this memo:

  • If, by September 5, 2017, the Executive Branch agrees to rescind the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum and not to renew or issue any new DACA or Expanded DACA
    permits in the future, then the plaintiffs that successfully challenged DAPA and Expanded DACA will voluntarily dismiss their lawsuit currently pending in the
    Southern District of Texas. Otherwise, the complaint in that case will be amended to challenge both the DACA program and the remaining Expanded DACA permits.

Secretary Sanders gave a press briefing on September 5, 2017. A document I highly recommend you read before weighing in on the Administration’s actions. Couple of things to take note of:

  • “faced with the very real possibility of a potential immediate shutdown of the entire DACA program by a federal court, President Trump took the responsible and constitutional step of announcing that the administration will be phasing out the program over the next two years.”
  • “Today’s September 5th deadline was set by the plaintiffs …” See Memo above from Texas Attorney General.
  • “rather than leave DACA recipients and men and women of immigration enforcement in confusing limbo, while the DACA program was challenged by states … laying out a responsible 24-month phase-out”
  • “No permits will be expiring for another six months, and permits will remain active for up to two full years.”

The Homeland Security issued a Memorandum as well. Take note of these statements:

  • “The Attorney General sent a letter to the Department on September 4, 2017, articulating his legal determination that DACA “was effectuated by the previous administration through executive action, without proper statutory authority and with no established end-date, after Congress’ repeated rejection of proposed legislation that would have accomplished a similar result. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.” The letter further stated that because DACA “has the same legal and constitutional defects that the courts recognized as to DAPA, it is likely that potentially imminent litigation would yield similar results with respect to DACA.” Nevertheless, in light of the administrative complexities associated with ending the program, he recommended that the Department wind it down in an efficient and orderly fashion, and his office has reviewed the terms on which our Department will do so.”
  • “Taking into consideration the Supreme Court’s and the Fifth Circuit’s rulings in the ongoing litigation, and the September 4, 2017 letter from the Attorney General, it is clear that the June 15, 2012 DACA program should be terminated.”

Now DC and 15 other states have filed a suit to stop the rescission, at that’s where we are today.

I hope this brings you up to speed so you have educated discussion about this topic. Keep these things in mind when discussing it:

  • This effects illegal immigrants who have been here for at least 5 years and are between the ages of 21-36.
  • The Federal Court has already weighed in on a similar directive.
  • This was a move suggested by the US Attorney General.
  • This is a 2 year phase out.

 

 

 

 

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